Running Stitch

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scottish ploughed fieldI realised I haven’t shared my latest hobby – running! Hence the title of this post – I’m running and getting stitch as well as my normal sewing “running stitch”.  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  Now, I’m currently 46 and haven’t run since school.  At school I could run because I weighed nothing and had the determination to succeed and try my best  (i.e. make it round the track in PE lessons while others just walked).  Since then, like most folk, I’ve found it unnecessary to run (except for the occasional bus and in Mum’s races at school before the health and safety brigade spoiled everything).

speedy's wood, earlston

I love hiking but it takes a whole day to get a good workout.  A couple of (running) friends suggested I try running so I can my exercise over and done with quickly (more time to knit/crochet/sew/bake/read etc.); and, since I’ve lost 20 lbs and have my high school body back I reckoned I could try it.  Well, I’m hooked now.  It hurts at times but it’s strangely satisfying – luckily I’m as determined as I ever was and I can’t stop now or I’ll undo all my hard work getting to this point.  Also because I’m unemployed right now, my running gives me a focus and gives me a great sense of achievement – and great legs.

autumn3

I followed a brilliant podcast called Couch to 5K.  It’s a 9 week training program you listen to on your ipod and it gets you off the couch and running 5K (approx 3 miles) in 9 weeks.  It actually gets you running for 30 minutes which they reckon is approx 5k in distance.  It’s available free from the NHS (National Health Service) website.  You run 3 times a week and follow the instructions/listen to the music and encouragement from Louise your personal trainer and you can’t go wrong.  The first week is just running for 60 seconds at a time and walking in between.

river leader

It builds up slowly and before you know it, you’re a runner.  I am a “Couch to 5K Graduate” now as I started nearly four months ago – but, interestingly, I found the very first day was actually the hardest, so if you try it, don’t give up.  Since I finished the podcast, I have kept running for 30 minutes, three times a week (occasionally up to 40 minutes) while listening to my own music.  I feel like an athlete.

mill meadow earlston

I feel great and the weight is staying off even though I am now consuming slice after slice of my sourdough bread.  To keep me on track, I have signed up, with my running friend, to do a 5K run in Edinburgh in January (around Arthur’s Seat) the extinct volcano in the middle of Holyrood Park.  I also have a friend in the village who has just started the couch to 5K program because she was impressed by how fab I’m looking.  I can’t recommend the podcast highly enough.

earlston

My main problem is not getting bored running the same paths as we live in a small village surrounded by hills; so, even though we have a lot of paths and it’s stunningly beautiful, it’s hard to run for 30 minutes without running out of flattish paths pretty quickly.  I took these photos on my iphone this week while I was out running to show you how Autumn is progressing here in Scotland.  We have had a few morning frosts so I’ve had to watch my step, but overall it’s been great weather – not much rain and not too cold (for here anyway)!  Today is stunning and the sky is blue (top photo).

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